There is mourning in African music. The famous Congolese guitarist passed away this Wednesday locasa or m’bongo,
The ‘King of Soccer’ had respiratory problems and was eventually admitted to a hospital in the United States.
The death of the 76-year-old artist was confirmed in that medical center.
The locsa or m’bongo is a symbol of the festival in Barranquilla.
His songs are heard every weekend at discos or pico dances.
The guitarist was born in 1946 in Kinshasa with the name Loksa Kasia Dennis.
In the world of Congolese music, where lead guitarists almost always get the glory, Lokasa is the rare bird who catapulted rhythm guitar to stardom.
It doesn’t hurt that he started his professional career in one of the biggest bands in Africa, Africell fronted by Tabu Ley.
Beginning in 1968, when the band was still called African Fiesta National, they bided their time in obscurity with notable successors. Prominent musicians such as Atele Mbumba, Mwatiku Visi and Dino Wangu.
For ten years, he played on every Fiesta National/Afrissa hit and took the stage in Paris in 1970 for the band’s performance at the famous Olympia. In 1978, during one of Afrisa’s many tours, Lokasa and several bandmates left Abidjan to try something new.
Lokasa, guitarist Dizzy Manjeku and drummer Ringo Moya joined with singer Sam Mangwana, who was already in Abidjan, to form the African All Stars.
This seminal group, for just one year, recorded a string of great songs. When the All Stars disbanded in Togo in 1979, Lokasa settled in the capital Lomé, and began calling himself Lokasa and Mbongo, essentially Lokasa, the Money Man.
He performed with a growing number of Congolese musicians in exile, including future Quatre Etoiles members Nyoboma Mwan Dido, Siren M’benza and Bopol Mansiamina. His 1982 meeting with Mandjeku, Mangwana and Moya produced the second round of African All Stars recordings.
Lokasa moved to Paris in 1984, where he quickly found his footing as a session musician, recording with Abetti, Kanda Bongo Man and Pepe Kalle.
One such concert gave rise to a new line-up for producer Ibrahima Sayla and Congolese-Brazzaville singer Ballu Kanta. Lokasa, Ballu, guitarist Deli Kimoko, and vocalists Lukombo Shimita, Yondo “Sister” Kusala, and Neil Zitney joined in 1989 to form Soukous Stars.
In the years that followed, Lokasa presided over a changing cast of characters, but his soukous stars survived. During his thirty-plus years as a musician, Lokasa has become one of the best-known Congolese rhythm guitarists, rivaled only by Bopol and Deschaud.
His nimble fingers have set the tempo for many Kinshasa rumba classics and a variety of Parisian souk hits. He has also distinguished himself as a leader and arranger, contributing greatly to the development and expansion of the Congolese-Parisian sound.
*Biography prepared by Collector Kamisalsa